Rocky Roads: The Mountains of Grinadier
The Lowlands is a large stretch of gently rolling hills that are situated west of the base of the Torren Mountains which make up the bulk of Grinadier. This land forms the transition from those rugged mountains into the vast plains of Celedon. Situated in The Lowlands is a group of five farming/ranching communities. Since this is the only large acreage of arable lands in Grinadier, over ninety percent of the local agriculture products eaten in Grinadier come from The Lowlands. Further, approximately 40 percent of all local domesticated animal products (this includes wool, leather, meat, glue, etc.) used in Grinadier come from this region.
In the past, The Lowlands were self sufficient, but did not produce enough food/animal products to aid Grinadier in general. Basically, the rest of Grinadier was completely dependent on Celedon for these products. However, Earl Audric Summers helped the inhabitants of The Lowlands to increase their production significantly, resulting in an economic boom in this region. Further, The Lowlands have been able to provide these goods throughout Grinadier, reducing the dependency on Celedon goods.
Although the past few years have produced some poor crops, The Lowlands have still been able to supply Grinadier with much of their goods. The current year has seen a revival of the crops, promising a banner year. Unfortunately, most recently, the crops have mysteriously been dying, creating a small amount of panic.
Each community in The Lowlands is ruled by a mayor who is appointed by the governor of the region. As a general rule, however, these appointments tend to be based on a mandate by the people of each community. For example, when a mayor of a community dies, the people of the community come together to decide who they want to take over and then send a representative to discuss the matter with the governor. As a general rule, the governor appoints who the people request.
II. The Communities and the Rulers:
A. Whitby Creek
The main village is nestled at the base of the Torren Mountains and is first encountered when entering The Lowlands. It is named after the creek that meanders nearby and is called Whitby Creek. It used to be the largest village with a population of 3,800 people, but has recently been passed in size by Berwick. The inn in town is called the Lazy Ox.
The main seat of government in The Lowlands is situated in Whitby Creek. The ruler of The Lowlands is given the title of governor, and the current one is Sir Cornelius Harding, who has ruled over The Lowlands for 16 years. Overall, Sir Cornelius is liked by the inhabitants of The Lowlands, although it could be said his approval rating has dropped in recent years. He has let himself go somewhat, and word around the Lowlands is that Conner the blacksmith won’t be able to adjust his armor any further without adding a few extra plates. Cornelius rules over larger problems and anything that involves more than a single community. However, at times, he comes into conflict with the local mayor (see below).
The military defense is headed by Lady Juliana of Orfort, a capable warrior who is marked by a missing left ear. She was appointed by Baron Orius Hawthorne and has served for slightly over a year. Since Whitby Creek is nearest the mountains, this is where the largest armed force is kept. It is not unusual for the evil humanoids located in the mountains to come down and attack the farming communities, but it hasn’t happened during her tour in The Lowlands.
Finally, the mayor of Whitby Creek is Charles the Bald, so named for his gleaming hairless pate. The mayors of The Lowlands communities all rule over local matters. There is never a problem in the other four communities, but there is some friction between Charles the Bald and Sir Cornelius Harding. It is similar to the conflict that parents often face. If a resident does not like the decision of Charles, he will often go to Cornelius, who is not above hearing the complaint and ruling against Charles’ decision. This has resulted in animosity between the two.
Berwick is located due West of Whitby Creek. It has a population of 4,400 and has been growing quickly due to it’s central location in The Lowlands. It is also the town encountered when entering Grinadier from Celedon. For this reason, a bustling trade post/Inn has been built to accommodate the influx of caravans named Summer’s Palace. Although Earl Audric Summers provided the funds for this grand building, he did not name it and rumor has it that he does not approve of the name.
The mayor of Berwick is Joseph Rowntree. His is well liked by the people of Berwick and does a great job keeping the traders happy. He is a single man and has been romantically linked to Matilda Cleeves of Kindle, although he denies these rumors.
Additionally, there is a large temple to Andura located here. Marilyn Rowe is the High Priestess there and she is a very skilled cleric.
Ramsgate is north of Berwick and has a population of roughly 2,200 inhabitants. As can be inferred by it’s name, Ramsgate has more grazing land than farming. Although all types of livestock are raised in this area, sheep are the most common. Due to the northern location of Ramsgate, a squad of soldiers are kept here and are led by Ken Green. The inn in Ramsgate is known as the Red Bull.
The mayor of Ramsgate is Simon McKinnon. Simon is the oldest mayor in The Lowlands and is seen as the wisest ruler. It is not uncommon for the other mayors to seek his guidance in resolving a particularly difficult dilemma.
D. Elgin Trace
Elgin Trace is south of Berwick and has a population of 2,500 inhabitants. It is the most picturesque of The Lowlands’ communities, being situated next to a brilliant blue body of water known as Sapphire Lake. The inn in town is called the Drunk Fisherman and is known throughout The Lowlands for their tasty fish stew.
Elgin Trace has recently met with tragedy, as the mayor, Francis Mowbray was found slain by wild animals. He was survived by his widow, Eleanor Mowbray, and son, Brom Mowbray. Sir Cornelius appointed Brom to the position of mayor in his father’s place. Although Brom is only 19 years old, he shares his father’s passion for Elgin Trace and the people love him for this.
Far to the south is the community of Kindle. It is located south of Elgin Trace and next to Whitby Creek, it sits closest to the Torren Mountains. For this reason, a contingent of soldiers is stationed in this southerly location. They are led by Samuel Stevenson. The inn in Kindle is called the Rusty Plow.
The mayor of Kindle is Matilda Cleves, a single and attractive woman of 34 years. She was close friends with the late Francis Mowbray and his widow, Eleanor. She is well liked and continues to manage a large farm by herself.